[ih-skey-piz-uh m]
See more synonyms for escapism on

Origin of escapism

First recorded in 1930–35; escape + -ism
Related formses·cap·ist, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for escapist

idealist, romanticist, evader

Examples from the Web for escapist

Contemporary Examples of escapist

  • Thus his love of escapist, desperately lighthearted writers like Laurence Sterne and Miguel de Cervantes.

  • Perabo says it's because female viewers want an escapist fantasy when they're working hard balancing families and careers.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Action Heroes in Heels

    Shannon Donnelly

    August 23, 2010

  • Shannon Donnelly on the genre's surprising comeback and why viewers are flocking to escapist fare.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Return of the Creature Feature!

    Shannon Donnelly

    August 19, 2010

  • It's escapist French cuisine—French with international influences—and very popular in the neighborhood.

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    Fresh Picks

    Clotilde Dusoulier

    January 12, 2010

  • Not every escapist action flick has such moments of political resonance.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The First Summer Blockbuster?

    Caryn James

    May 21, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for escapist


  1. an inclination to or habit of retreating from unpleasant or unacceptable reality, as through diversion or fantasy
Derived Formsescapist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for escapist

in the figurative sense, 1930 (adj.); 1933 (n.), from escape + -ist.



1933, American English, from escape (v.) + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

escapist in Medicine


  1. The tendency to escape from daily reality or routine by indulging in daydreaming, fantasy, or entertainment.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.